Latvian Adoption Process
The final goal of every international adoption process is to get your child home, but there are slight differences in the process of doing so. One thing that sets Latvian process apart from others is that your child comes home to the United States before the adoption is finalized.
So, how does it all work?
Step 1: Submit your application.
This is a pretty universal step. Talk to us, and if you think that World Links is a good fit for what you have in mind – send us an application.
Step 2: Get your Hague home study.
If you live in PA – we’ll do your home study, if you live anywhere outside – we’ll recommend a few options and you can pick whichever agency you prefer to do your home study.
Step 3: Documents
Latvian program takes a number of documents, and we’ll address the list of those in the next section, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary. Get those documents to us, we’ll add some documents from World Links, from home study agency, from USCIS, from other entities and authorities, and get it over to Latvia, have it translated, and submit everything to the Latvian authorities to register you as prospective adoptive parents.
Step 4: Referral
Once you are registered – the Latvian authorities will review your paperwork and you’ll officially have your case in the queue. The time between being registered and the time a referral is issued to you is usually referred by everyone as waiting time, because that’s all it really is, we’re waiting for the Latvian side to issue a referral for you. Once the referral is issued it will be transmitted to you. You’ll have time to review the referral and if you consider it to be a potential match – you’ll travel to Latvia to meet your prospective adoptive child.
Step 5: First trip
Now things get really exciting! Before it was us, phones, and paperwork, but now you get to travel to Latvia to meet with your prospective adoptive child. Latvia established a 3 week bonding period, during which you and the child spend time together. We will arrange for the Orphan Court approved accommodations (safe for the child), where you will stay with the child, and where you’ll be visited by the social worker. This social worker will observe your interactions with the child and make a determination if this adoption is in the best interest of the child.
Also, this is when the Latvian Court decides if it is going to grant you a permission to continue your pre-adoption care period for your child in the United States. If their decision is positive, you’ll be able to travel back home with your prospective adoptive child.
Step 6: Back in the USA
You are back home and your prospective adoptive child is with you. It’s not the end though, but it’s a good midpoint for the process. Now you need to provide us with the paperwork you’ve received from Latvia and we will will work on some forms for the USCIS and help you get immigration paperwork for your child.
Step 7: Back to Latvia, one parent goes for the hearing.
Now, this is when the Latvian court makes their decision. This would be like a court hearing in any other process, except that your kid is already home. Only one parent needs to fly in, go to the hearing, and then go back home.
Court decision is in effect 20 days after that. Latvian side needs another 15 to 20 days to get all of your documents ready.
Step 8: Back to Latvia one last time, US Embassy, and coming home for good.
This is your final trip back to Latvia. This time, though, at least one parent has to go, and both parents can, and your prospective adoptive child needs to travel back to Latvia to get a visa to come back to the United States.
Your child must attend an appointment at the US Embassy in Latvia in order to get a visa to enter the United States again.
So, travel to Latvia, get the paperwork, go to the US Embassy, follow the procedure, get the entry visa, fly back to the United States, and upon landing give us a call – we’ll be waiting.
Quick FAQ for this page:
Is it really that simple?
We take care of the complexities and present you with the un-complexed version. So we make it simple, but it’s still a very involved process.
Can I pick my own home study agency?
Yes, as long as it’s a Hague accredited home study agency and they are willing to sign all of the interagency agreements for the Hague adoption. There is a lot of interagency paperwork.
I counted 3 trips, right?
Yes, first trip is for both parents to bond with the child. Second trip for at least one parent to attend the court hearing, third trip is for at least one parent and the child to pick up paperwork and go through the US Embassy procedure.
From Latvia to the US, and then back to Latvia, and…?
Yes, I know what you are thinking, but that’s the way US Embassy works. Your child must come to Latvia and attend the procedure set up by the US Embassy for adopted children coming from a foreign country. This program is not like the others in the fact that your child is home before the process is finalized, but that does not mean that the US Embassy doesn’t have to follow their procedure.
Now, let’s look at the documents in the next section.
Latvian Adoption Program Sections